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It Lives! 3X ThankYou Points on Plastiq Payments With Citi AT&T Access More Card

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I suspected this might be the case!

My statement closed last night and I just got the PDF. I can confirm all my rent payments made through Plastiq on my last Citi AT&T Access More statement earned 3X Citi ThankYou points. Even the ones made after July 22nd.

citi plastiq 3X

3X is alive and well

The only things that didn’t earn 3X coded as utility payments… which Citi has always said will earn 1X anyway.

The other payments are coding as “Misc Government Services.”

My test payment from August 1st earned 3X and coded this way

I’m not sure what this means, but it looks like 3X is alive and well!

Citi Plastiq 3X is still around

Reader Amar confirmed on August 8th that his mortgage payment earned 3X as well.

Further, I made a rent, mortgage, and HOA payment – all earned 3X.

Interestingly, a student loan payment I made on my new Citi Diamond Preferred also coded as “Misc Government Services.”

 

Effin’ Mohela, man

I made the payment this way to avoid paying interest until 2019. But that it coded the same way leads me to believe some student loan payments will earn 3X as well. Previously, these payments coded as “Education” (which makes sense).

Somewhere along the line, the coding changed. And while I’d say to keep an eye on it, it seems 3X is good to go – for now at least.

Just wanted to share the newest data point. Let me know if it works for you, too!

A Ray of Hope for Plastiq 3X With Citi AT&T Access More Card?

I just made my last round of rent, mortgage, and HOA payments through Plastiq with my Citi AT&T Access More card because Citi is removing those transactions from earning 3X starting next week.

But as I reviewed the transactions, I noticed they weren’t coding as rent like they had before. Instead, they’re coding as “Misc Government Services.” That gave me pause because of the language in Citi’s T&Cs:

Plastiq 3X With Citi AT&T Access More Card

Quoth Citi

But upon further review, I earned 3X in this very same category as early as this month. Which makes me wonder… will 3X live on for rent and mortgage payments with the Citi AT&T Access More card?

A history of Plastiq 3X With Citi AT&T Access More Card

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Flight Review: Brussels Airlines Business Class JFK-BRU

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Back in August 2016, I booked round-trip Business Class flights from JFK to Brussels on Brussels Airlines using ~37,000 Etihad miles (transferred 1:1 from Citi ThankYou points). That was an incredible value. Now it’s 44,000 Etihad miles each way, which is still a cheap price for Business Class to Europe. But not nearly as awesome, obvi.

I took the flights in May 2017 – a full 9 months after booking. It’s the farthest in advance I’ve ever booked a trip. So I was looking forward to it for a long time.

Brussels Airlines Business Class

Our bird to Brussels

As the date neared, I firmed up my intra-European itinerary. And booked positioning flights to and from New York.

Here’s a look at what Business Class on Brussels Airlines looks like.

Brussels Airlines Business Class seat

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Taking Stock: The 29 Credit Cards I Currently Have – and Why

Time for a credit card inventory. Over the years, my collection of credit cards has grown. I now have 29 credit cards to my name.

(I did have 30, but closed my Citi ThankYou Premier last week. Because the Chase Sapphire Reserve is better for the same 3X categories. And Citi is changing the Prestige and AT&T Access More cards next month – which is causing me to significantly rethink my relationship with them.)

Ah, but a small sample of the 29 cards I currently hold

And, I’m paying annual fees on many of my cards. So I thought I’d put the complete list together to take stock of what I have – and what I’m getting in return. I’ll write a little snippet for each card, but will try to keep it brief. 29 cards is a lot!

Let’s jump right in.

Amex

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Update: My Credit Score Is Recovering After Disputes With All 3 Bureaus

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Well, it’s been nearly a year since a $6 charge from Dollar Shave Club on an Amex card plunged my credit score over 100 points.

At the time, my credit score was 803 – the first time I’d ever gone over 800. I know it doesn’t intrinsically “matter,” because a score over 750 is as good as it gets. But I did have some pride at earning an above-800 score.

So I was pretty horrified when one stupid error brought me down to ~700. All the work I’d done to build my credit was instantly erased. And, Amex was totally clueless, unhelpful, and actually prolonged the repair process by saying they’d corrected it on their end when in actuality they hadn’t done anything.

I dragged my feet on filing a dispute with the 3 major credit bureaus because I knew it would be a slog – and it was. No sugar-coating that ish.

 

credit score recovery

Only 13 points to go before I get to 800 again

But, as of last month, my score is now above 780 across the board!

It’s not over 800 yet – I doubt that will happen any time soon – but I am happy my score is recovering. Here’s how it went down.

The long, long dispute process

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Gasp! Citi AT&T Access More Will No Longer Earn 3X for Rent & Mortgage Payments

I am in a slough of despond. Following this morning’s depressing news that you can no longer use Visa cards for Plastiq rent and mortgage payments, I received the following email from Citi:

citi at&t access more

Crying

As of July 22nd, 2017, “rental and real estate” payments will only earn 1 point per $1 spent instead of the current 3X points. This was definitely going to be my backup for Visa cards.

And, given that Citi Prestige is getting poopier on July 23rd, 2017, I am suddenly rethinking my entire relationship with Citi cards.

If only 1X, which 1X?

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Plastiq Rent Payments With US Bank Altitude Code as Travel but Do NOT Earn 3X

On May 1st, I got the US Bank Altitude Reserve card – the first day it was available.

I wrote how payments with Plastiq coded as travel with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card (lots of peeps on Reddit confirm this, too). So I was hoping that would be the case with the US Bank Altitude Reserve. Especially because the minimum spending requirement is $4,500 – that would’ve been a nice points haul at 3X.

us bank altitude

The merchant code gave me hope for 3X

And the charges did code as travel. But my statement just closed and I only got 1X point per $1.

This US Bank card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve are both Visa cards. So while it doesn’t work for the former, I’m hoping it will still earn 3X with the latter for a while longer.

Here’s what I found.

A charge that codes as travel but didn’t earn 3X

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Why I Got a 0% APR Card to Help Pay Down Debt

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Welp, I finally did it. Got a new credit card to help pay down my student loans.

It’s an idea I floated before. But I didn’t bite because there have always been other cards I wanted instead. Plus, I like to save or invest money instead of throwing it toward student loans.

0 apr credit cards

I hate their name. I hate how their logo has an apple in it. I hate everything about it pretty much

I’m constantly torn about taking a solid year to get rid of it, then I think… man, I could invest that. Or pay down my mortgage. Or just have it.

Ultimately, I think a hybrid approach is best: break everything down into buckets and work on each one a little at a time. Save a little, invest a little, use the rest for bills.

But I’ve decided to give myself a head start on the student loan bucket. Here’s why.

Lower principal means less interest

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Booking BAP: A $5,000 Trip to Europe for $238 & Points!

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In a few weeks, I’ll be in Brussels, Amsterdam, and Prague for the first time. I am calling this trip “BAP” (after the 3 cities).

This is the trip I booked waaay back in August 2016 for biz class seats with Etihad miles. At the time, I paid ~37,000 miles for round-trip seats from New York to Brussels on Brussels Airlines. Etihad has since raised the price to 88,000 miles – which can still be a good deal to Europe in Business.

That was about 9 months ago – the furthest out I’ve ever planned a trip. At the time, I figured I’d fill it in when the time came. Which is now.

brussels amsterdam prague

I’m coming for ya, Brussy

Here’s how I put together a $5,00+ week-long trip to Europe for $238 out of pocket.

Booking BAP (Brussels, Amsterdam, Prague)

1. To New York and back

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[False Alarm] Citi Card Apps No Longer Have 24 Month Language?

Update: Not sure what’s going on but I see the 24-month language on some application pages. I’m wrong and nothing has changed. I got excited and jumped. Going to close this for now. Sorry for the false alarm! 

Just a quick post.

Citi has been limiting card sign-up bonuses per family of “brands” to every 24 months – with a clock that resets if you open OR close an account within that family. The 3 brands are:

  • American Airlines
  • Hilton
  • ThankYou points

So for example, if you opened or closed the Citi Hilton Reserve within the previous 24 months, you could NOT get the sign-up offer on the Citi Hilton no annual fee card. Period.

But it looks like that restriction has shifted:

citi 24 months

“New accounts only”

Now it says, “This offer valid for new accounts only.”

What does that mean?

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I’m Over Cashback Cards and Into Starwood Points

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There, I said it.

In 2013, I famously said (typed), “I don’t care about Starpoints.” At the time, my grievances were:

  • 1 point per $1 spent was too low of an earn rate
  • You have to spend so much to earn a meaningful reward
  • The earn rate with other hotel programs is better, so why bother with Starwood?
Starwood Points vs cashback

I like you now and I’ll be sad when you leave

But a lot has changed since then. The merger with Marriott opened a few cool new opportunities, like:

Nothing's fine I'm torn

Nothing’s fine I’m torn

And, I’ve been putting a non-bonused spend on my Amex Starwood card, to the chagrin of my previously beloved Fidelity Visa. (Although I still use the mess out of my Discover it card cuz I want that sweet Dublin!)

In fact, I think I’m…. over cashback cards. For now, at least.

Drinking the Starpoints Kool-Aid

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Don’t Make This Mistake With Sapphire Reserve & Prestige Travel Credits

Update 2/6/17: So… the entire premise of this post is incorrect. I flubbed this one, guys.

Because you get 2 credits and 1 charge so in the end, you really do get to keep your credit. My mind has been hazy this week and I apologize for the incorrect information, though it was well-intentioned guidance. Anyhoo, nothing to see here.

Huge thanks to my readers who pointed out my mistake in a guiding and gentle way. It means a lot to me – kind of super emotionally sensitive right now. You guys really are the best.


Oy. I had a slip-up with my Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 annual travel credit last week. Luckily, it wasn’t that bad.

But here’s a PSA of what NOT to do.

annual travel credit

If you get a refund, you essentially lose your credit!

I booked a round-trip award flight on Southwest with my Sapphire Reserve. The taxes were $11.20.

Immediately after, I thought it better to have the trip as 2 one-ways so could lock in the price if plans didn’t change. Or have the option to change either (or both) legs down the road if needed. So that was another $11.20.

When I canceled the first ticket, I had the option to get a refund or store the money in my Southwest bank. I didn’t think it through, and impulsively hit “Refund.” Not good.

A couple of days later when the charges and credits hit, I realized what I’d done. I did get the $11.20 refund. But I lost $11.20 of my travel credit. It’s not a huge loss, but what if it was an entire paid flight? 

A similar thing almost happened to me again this week at a hotel!

Another time I messed up

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